Written by Kronos Technologies on February 04, 2019
In the past it was often true that advisors acted more like salespeople. Often, most of the work was around getting clients to purchase products—which led to a mindset in which the more clients an advisor worked with the better. Selling to hundreds of clients was possible because the role and relationships were transactional—but the industry has evolved, and the need for advisors to perform that sales function has been greatly reduced through the introduction of technology, (like robo-advisors.) As a result the advisor role is transforming, becoming more concentrated on providing advice and finding new ways to better serve clients.
Read on to see how to go the extra mile and deliver even better service to the key clients that matter the most.
In some ways the new advisor paradigm requires offering more to fewer people. Some advisors may be reluctant to turn in this direction because they don’t want to neglect any of their clients—but that’s really not what is intended. Of course advisors should still respond to service and support requests from all of their clients, but they should also plan to go the extra mile by finding ways to deliver pro-active, value-added service for their most important ‘A’ and ‘B’ clients.
Shifting to this new model of service means, first, using your CRM to segment your client base to identify precisely who your ‘A’ and ‘B’ clients are—and then creating a segmented service level agreement which outlines what pro-active service you will provide to each segment. For instance, ‘B’ clients may get newsletters and social media posts and invites to webinars. Whereas ‘A’ clients may get all of that plus invites to exclusive speaking engagements and networking lunches several times a year.
Take advantage of technology
Another way in which the advisor world has evolved into a new paradigm is in the use of innovative technologies that increase advisor efficiency and effectiveness, and help them deliver better service to their clients. If you haven’t already try these three tech approaches to going the extra mile.
Take advantage of Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) software solutions.
FNA tools automate much of the tiresome data entry involved in preparing a needs analysis, but they also make the client experience a lot better. A good tool allows you to share the FNA with a client prior to meeting for an annual review. The client can review and update their own information—which saves a step during the face-to-face meeting, enabling you to focus solely on the client when you are together. Because the client takes ownership of making sure their data is accurate, they also become immersed in thinking about their goals and hopes and fears. They become more engaged in the whole review process and more likely to listen to your advice.
Take your website to the next level
Your practice’s website is a key point of contact between you and your prospects and clients. Of course you need to make sure your website has the basics covered in terms of describing what you do, why you do it, how you do it—and it must be professional-looking, engaging, and easy to navigate.
But, if you haven’t recently revised your website, it’s worth considering giving it a client service overhaul. Consider how your website can take client service to a new level by adding some premium features:
First, make sure your site is optimized for mobile, so that clients can access the information they need whenever and wherever they require. Make sure it’s easy to read on all devices, from phones to tablets to laptops. And, give clients easy ways to contact you in whatever manner they desire: email, IM, phone, etc.
Also, look into whether the companies you work with can give you client portal capabilities. Your service interactions with clients will be greatly enhanced if they can go online to easily make purchases that don’t require advice—while retaining the ability to ask for your time when they have higher level concerns.
Achieve CRM mastery
Become a master of your CRM so you can automate tasks and streamline your workflows. This will free you up to spend more time with your clients.
To achieve CRM mastery take advantage of all the resources your CRM vendor provides. Participate in webinars, take online tutorials, review blog posts and help centre articles. If you have staff, make sure they are also experts in using your CRM.
When looking to become proficient in any discipline, it helps to set educational goals. Identify the main things that you want your CRM to do for you. Tackle your goals one at a time, by learning how to master the CRM features that will make you an expert in each area. For instance, if you want your CRM to streamline your marketing campaigns, make use of your vendor training and support resources to become a pro when it comes to using features like: segmentation tools, filters, tags, templates and activity management modules.
Become an educational resource
The more you focus on a particular niche the easier it is to develop an expertise that sets you apart and enhances your clients’ lives and businesses. Because a niche, by definition, is a group of people with similar attributes, you can more quickly and easily go deep in terms of your understanding of their world and your ability to provide targeted solutions to their issues.
When developing your understanding of your particular niche make sure to learn what the people in your market most want to know—and what they don’t know but should. Understanding these issues will set you apart from your competitors and make you a highly referable and sought-after resource.
Once you understand what your niche needs, begin the work of becoming an expert in those critical knowledge areas. Do everything you can to develop your expertise by: attending talks, participating in webinars and conferences, doing on-line research, reading and talking to other professionals and experts. Then share your expertise within your niche on a regular basis. Use social media, webinars, podcasts, blogs, video tutorials, seminars to broadcast to your market that you have knowledge, experience and solutions that address their real needs—always seeking to go the extra mile and add value for clients in ways that other advisors cannot.
Success in the world of the new advisor paradigm is often a function of your ability to go the extra mile for your clients. It means evolving away from a transactional approach to dealing with your clients, and finding ways to add true value and deliver awesome service they can’t get from other advisors. Segment your client base to identify the clients who would benefit most from added-value service, take advantage of advances in technology to increase your service effectiveness, and develop your expertise in your niche to supercharge the value you bring to your market. When you continually search for new ways to go the extra mile you’ll find you start to develop incredible customer relationships that will benefit both your clients and your practice.